Law school's future takes center stage at special meeting
By Nikki Gaskinsngaskins@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Shock, anger, betrayal these are just some of the emotions students at the Charleston School of Law say they have towards a recent management agreement with a company that already owns three other law schools.
"This is something that is taking the student body and community by shock," said Gabe Hogan, a third year law student who attended the meeting.
The media was not allowed inside the hearing, but the future of the Holy City's only law school took center stage inside the Charleston Music Hall on Tuesday.
"Our pride was hurt when this management agreement was released to us. They sold us a product that was natural and organic, and now we feel like they're bastardizing it into a consortium of law schools," said Hogan.
InfiLaw currently owns three other law schools in North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona.
"These are three schools that are unranked schools that I personally do not believe have the charisma that the Charleston School of Law has," said Hogan.
Other law students, like Logan Rogers, are trying to see the positive.
"I don't think that InfiLaw coming in is the worst thing in the world," said Rogers. "They have a lot of resources that maybe the school of law is not equipped with at the moment. They're a bigger organization, so they can probably help us get to some resources that we can't at the moment."
InfiLaw representatives spoke to faculty and students inside the meeting, answering their concerns. Some worry the agreement puts the school's reputation on the line, turning the school into a "diploma mill."
"We have a lot of questions we still want answered," said Kathleen Chewning, the board president for the school's alumni association.
Chewning said the school's long term future is still unclear.
"That was not spelled out the past the next year tonight," said Chewning. "We were not told whether or not the school will be sold."
The law school's spokesperson, Andy Brack, says nothing should be substantially different when school starts next year. He also added that the school will still be run by a local board of directors with the same dean.
A spokesperson for InfiLaw referred commenting on the company's contract with the school to Brack.